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8 Foods to Avoid with IBS

The standard line most doctors and dietitians would give you is to eat a variety of different foods that are packed with nutritious value, but do it in moderation. However, this rule is thrown out with the baby water when you come to irritable bowel syndrome or IBS for short. This is since this condition is triggered by certain foods.

Firstly, let us just briefly explain what irritable bowel syndrome is. Simply put, IBS is when the colon, also called the large intestine, display symptoms of discomfort such a bloating, cramping, abdominal pain, gas buildup, diarrhea constipation. Luckily, it is only a few people that have severe case of IBS, most of the rest of the people can be treated with a change in diet, stress and lifestyle. Thereby they can avoid taking medications and therapy.

This article is about the foods to avoid if you have IBS. This is since these foods have been found to trigger IBS symptoms. But by avoiding these foods, you could lessen the symptoms associated with IBS.

1 Gluten

Certain grains such as rye, wheat, barley contain gluten. Gluten is a sort of protein that acts a binder in foods, but what it does is that when consumed it acts like razors making cuts as it moves through the digestive track including the gut, where it damages the gut lining.

The problem is that some people could be allergic or sensitive to gluten. If you are allergic to gluten then you will have a condition called celiac disease, and you will display symptoms like diarrhea. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that happens in some people as a response to the ingestion of gluten. It can cause alterations in the intestinal cells bring about in poor absorption of nutrients. Other people with a gluten intolerance or a sensitivity will be without the immune response or changes in the intestinal cells. This condition is known as non-celiac gluten sensitivity. These people may experience the same undesirable side effects and gastrointestinal symptoms of gluten ingestion as those with celiac disease.

A way forward

Luckily, there are so many gluten-free products on the market. Although they are pricier than normal gluten products, the health benefits are more important. More so, there are options that does not cost as much as others. Look out for pasta made from corn, buckwheat or rice. You can use cornstarch or rice flour instead of wheat flour. Quinoa and oats are also two good options to use, as they are gluten-free.

2 Insoluble fiber

Fiber is good for a healthy diet and it is present in whole grains, fruits and vegetables. The issue is that some people react differently to insoluble fiber than others. Some with IBS could suffer from diarrhea.

A way forward

It is best to focus on soluble fiber if you suffer from IBS. The down side is that soluble fiber could make you feel bloated. Still, foods that are sources of soluble fiber are grains such as oats, root vegetables such as carrots, legumes like peas, and fruits such as mangoes and berries.

3 Dairy

Cow milk can be problematic as it has fat that can lead to diarrhea, and some people can be lactose intolerant. Also, people who have sinus problems might want to avoid diary.

A way forward

You could go for a low fat or fat-free milk if the fat is giving you diarrhea. Alternatively, you could opt for dairy free products if you are lactose intolerant. Here you can go for almond milk, soymilk, rice milk or goat’s milk. Goat’s milk although containing more fat than cow’s milk is contains different proteins and is actually much healthier for you then cow’s milk as it is the milk that is closer to breast milk.

You could also go for other types of cheeses like brie and feta. As these will not give you the problems of hard cheeses.

4 Fried foods

Sorry, but fried foods that are super high in fat is a no-no for people with IBS. During the frying process the chemical makeup of the food changes and that results in problems of digesting the food.

A way forward

An easy solution is to not deep fry, but to grill or bake your food. Not only is it healthier in that you will not have the symptoms associated with IBS but you will keep your weight controlled.

5 Legumes

Of the legume family, beans might be a problem for people with IBS. Although beans are a good source of protein, it could increase the bulk in stools and lead to constipation. In addition, beans can lead to gas, cramps, and bloating.

A way forward

Try to limit the amount of beans in your diet, alternatively, less beans out of the diet.

6 Caffeine

Caffeine can be a healthy beverage, but for some people like those with IBS, caffeine could be a problem. This is that caffeine in coffee, teas and some energy drinks could stimulate effect on the intestines that can lead to diarrhea.

A way forward

If caffeine is a problem, then go for de-caffeinated coffee or drink teas such as Rooibos that are naturally caffeine free. You could also make your own tea, but placing mint or ginger in a cup with some boiling water. If for some reason you find that you are drinking too much coffee, then you might have a magnesium deficiency. However, increasing your magnesium intake could solve the need to drink so much coffee.

7 Artificial sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners or sugar-free sweeteners are simply just not good. Not healthy in general and differently not good for people with IBS.

These sweeteners, which is also known as, sugar alcohols, or sugar substitutes are found in sweets, gum and even some meds. The issue is that the ingredients are hard for your body to absorb.

A way forward

Read the back of the product label. If it is a sweetener that you have problems with, then avoid the product. Additionally, you could add some raw honey to your drinks or use maple syrup.

8 Cauliflower and broccoli

The two vegetables, cauliflower and broccoli can be very difficult to digest, and could trigger symptoms associated with IBS. That is since when these vegetables start to the process of breaking down in the intestine, there is gas that is created. In addition to the gas, you could experience constipation.

A way forward

Instead of cooking with the whole or pieces of the cauliflower and broccoli, rather grate them. Once you start to grade these vegetables, you will produce a rice like consistency. But ricing them, you will make it easier for your digestive system to process it. It will however not eliminate the problems of gas or diarrhea though.

Alternatively, you could go for other types of vegetables such as carrots, lettuce, cucumbers, bok choy, turnips, potatoes, and eggplant. These will not give you the problems that cauliflower or broccoli could give you.

About Jacques Dippenaar

Jacques is an influential health blogger and researcher helping readers explore interesting facts and information.

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